There is one thing parent often don’t look forward to when traveling and it’s usually flying with your baby or your children. It’s stressful and it often never goes as planned! One thing we need to make sure of is to be well organized and to have everything on hand to be ready to face any unwanted situation.
We have to admit the boyfriend and I that flying with children is always the thing we are the least excited about. It’s long, difficult, tiring, name it, it’s probably that too. Your experience is even worse when you cheap out by not buying a seat for your baby or toddler and it’s usually what we do. If you didn’t already know; you can travel for “free” with your 2 years old and younger child. Why? Because they can sit on your lap! We will probably have to pay for their flight for the next 20 years, so mine as well enjoy it while it’s free. Be aware that it comes at a price as it makes the plane ride so much more complicated.
I said free, but you also have to pay a small administrative fee of 30$ to 50$ per child (obviously that depends on the airline). #GoodToKnow
Now let’s be honest, as the past 2 trips, we had 2 children under 2 years old with us. You can quickly understand that we both had a child or a baby on our lap. It was intense. You have to stay optimistic and know that you will have 4 hours of very bad time for a good and amazing 2 weeks of family vacation. 😉
On the other hand, the first time we went traveling with our baby to Italy for a month, we only had Téo with us who was 6 months old. At the time, we booked the baby bassinet for the plane. This little item really made our life easier, to find out more you can read my post about traveling with a baby. Following this experience, we went all in for a 5-hour flight with 2 children under 2 years old! #lol
To be honest, it doesn’t get easier. The more kids you have, the younger they are, the more difficult it’s going to be. Plus, when they are young they don’t fully understand the authority we have on them, which makes it even more challenging. Let’s say you have more chances of your kids sizzling like a bacon on the floor when they are 2/3 years old rather than 9/10 years old. Yep! You know what I mean #haha ! Here is what you should pack for your next flight with your baby or your children.
In our carry-on, I always bring one roll of toilet paper. Many airports around the world don’t provide you with toilet paper #yucky. It’s also useful to blow your nose or to pick up unappealing objects here and there.
We also like to bring both of our baby carrier on the plane for our sons. We usually use them while waiting in the line at the airport, it can also help with tantrums, for napping or even when boarding the plane (when you have to drop off your stroller but that you haven’t found your seats).
You will also need medication in case they get sick. We can think of ibuprofen and acetaminophen for kids. As well, you should have with you at all time their health booklet, their care card as well as your travel insurance. All those items should be with you on the plane.
I also bring an extra set of clothes for the plane, as well as extra clothing for us and our children for 2 days just in case our suitcase goes missing. This way, if anything happens, we would be covered for a couple days. As well you should pack a sun hat, bathing suits and sandals if you’re going to a warm destination. This way everything will run smoothly.
In my survival backpack #lol I also bring 2 facecloths and 1 or 2 baby bibs.
BABY’S MUST HAVE
As my baby is being breastfed, I believe it facilitates my plane trips. I don’t need to pack milk bottles or milk formula or to wash, sanitize and warm up the bottles. My boobies are always ready to go, either for a quick sip when taking off and landing or for a full meal. Due to the change of altitude, it can be painful for your baby’s ears, having a drink on hand for them can be very useful. No need to stress yourself out, a simple bottle of water, a bottle of milk or even your baby’s soother can do the job and unplug their ears.
Following that, it’s pretty simple to entertain a baby when flying as they play with anything. It can be a piece of paper, a bottle of water or anything else that occupies their hand. It will for sure amuse them and that’s when they aren’t asleep as they tend to sleep a little bit more in the plane due to the white noise similar to when they are in a car. I like to have a couple of blankets for them as they find it comforting and it’s often colder on a plane.
I also make sure to pack enough diapers and wet ones to survive for 3 days, again in case our luggage goes missing. If you’re planning on visiting a country where those 2 items are almost impossible to find #HelloCuba, I highly recommend adding some more in your luggage. Better safe than sorry as they say! Always plan for extras as your flight can be delayed which might end up with you spending an extra night in an unplanned destination. Also, make sure to bring your changing pad as changing tables are not always available wherever you go.
TODDLER’S MUST HAVE
That’s where things get a little bit complicated! For Téo I packed a lot of snacks #FoodieJustLikeHisMom 😉 Why? It keeps them busy!! And it’s usually easy to bring food across the border in your carry-on. We usually bring pre-packed snacks such as granola bars, mini soy milk/ juice boxes or fruit pouches. With these snacks on hand, plus all the other products offered on board, you should make it to your destination.
We also make sure to pack small toys such as wax pencils (that I prefer as they don’t need to be sharpened, but also because they don’t leave any stay), small cars, stickers and notebook (to stick the stickers and draw as well).
I also bring permanent tattoos and a wet towel for him to make a chef-d’oeuvre out of himself ;). That kept him amused and amazed for a good 10 minutes! Plus, it can be achieved while they are sitting down. A good “game” that I keep in my back pocket when traveling!
We also got Téo earphones as he loves to listen to music which is usually available on board. He was amused for a good 30 minutes listening and changing stations as he felt like it.
There is always to good old classic such as singing rhymes, teaching them their body parts or teaching them how to count on their fingers.
And finally, in extreme case of emergency the iPad or the iPhone. At home, Téo is not allowed to touch or use our phones. As the flight can be quite long for our little ones, we allowed him to use our iPhone on the plane. As he isn’t used to using an iPhone, he was very quiet (but we were really out of ideas at that point #lol)!
Another last-minute tip is to give your toddler some candy. I know! This should be used only as a last option #relol. To be honest, once or twice during the flight, he became uncontrollable. He couldn’t handle being in his seat anymore, he was tired (and because we felt bad for everybody around us, we gave him some rocket candy). He instantly became happy, so was everyone else 😉